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Busing out under Reagan administration, official says

CHICAGO -- Voluntary transfer programs, magnet schools and upgraded curriculum requirements will replace mandatory busing to achieve racial integration under the Reagan administration, a top official says.

William Bradford Reynolds, assistant U.S. attorney general for civil rights, told a group of educators Sunday that forced busing of students has failed to achieve school integration.

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In a dramatic shift from previous administrations, he said the policy of the Reagan administration will be to adopt mandatory busing programs only as a last resort.

'Forced busing has, in the final analysis, largely failed in two major respects,' Reynolds told a national workshop on desegregation being held at the Continental Plaza Hotel.

'It has failed to gain needed public acceptance and it has failed to translate into enhanced educational achievement.

'Blind allegiance to an experiement that has not withstood the test of experience obviously makes little sense.'

The Justice Department official outlined the Reagan administration's desegregation goals, which he said would make 'equal educational opportunity' its flagship in all schools rather than the mandatory reassignment or busing of students.

The administration will encourage the use of faculty incentives, inservice training for teachers and administrators, school closings in systems with excess capacities and construction in overcrowded districts, adjustments in attendance zones and alterations of feeder zones to enhance the integration of students without busing, Reynolds said.

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